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the beautiful state of Michigan

Updated on September 7, 2010

What used to be a beautiful river

Just the beginning

The saddest thing has happened in the beautiful State of Michigan. A company by the name of Enbridge that resides in Canada, has allowed an oil leak. The pipeline was installed in our State in 1952, well before I ever arrived on this planet, stretches across the state from Canada to Illinois and beyond. The pipeline contains crude oil and is turned from crude oil into gasoline. For over 50 years it has been underground, exposed to time and the elements of freezing temperatures and corrosion that happens to metals placed in the earth.

In January 2010, Enbridge was notified that there was corrosion on some of these pipes, and they were in dire need of repair or replacement. The notifications fell on deaf ears. The repairs were never made. On July 25th 2010, 7 ½ months after being notified of the probability of breakages, a leak happened.

In a small river that leads into a much larger river near a small town called Marshall, 840,000 gallons of oil began it’s trek. Within several hours it made it’s way into the larger river, The Kalamazoo River and continuing thru many small towns and inland lakes, on it’s way to Lake Michigan. Michigan is known for it’s Great Lakes one of the largest fresh water supply in the world.

It took almost 24 hours for anyone to begin doing anything. The smell traveling along the rivers and in the towns have caused numerous ailments, vomiting, headaches, dizziness etc. The people have been told the water which comes from their taps, is considered “Not Drinkable”. All water in the surrounding areas are off limits. The company Enbridge has said that they will reimburse those who have to purchase water. Those who cannot reside in their homes will be reimbursed for hotel expenses, provided they save receipts.

Michigan has been hit very hard during this recession, many people that do have jobs are living from paycheck to paycheck and are unable to come up with the ‘up front’ money that is needed to pay for these comforts. Yes, their health is in question, but without any pocket money they are unable to leave their homes, so they suffer in silence. Many don’t have jobs, and are living on either unemployment or welfare, if any of you have ever tried living on either of these will attest there certainly isn’t much left over after for paying rent, utilities and food, let alone a hotel or bottled water.

We have been told that it may take up to 200 years for this disaster to be unnoticed. Animals are dying, and people are scared, everyone is wondering what to do. The Government has declared it to be a disaster, everyone is pointing fingers at one another, trying to asses blame. In the meantime workers are now working around the clock, booms are on the water trying to catch the oil, volunteers are waiting to help out. Yet the oil still goes thru.

Granted, Michigan’s oil leak/spill is no where near the extent of the oil spill in the Gulf, and we are certainly feeling the pain of those in the South. This was something that the people of Michigan never expected to happen to our beautiful State.

Today when you turn on your water faucet to get a glass of water, make a pot of coffee or give your child a bath, something that you normally take for granted, say a prayer for those who are unable to do so at this time.


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    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Awww, how sweet. Thank you!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ...well Michigan must be beautiful because you're in it!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      They have been working around the clock to try and get this cleaned up. I did write another article on this and have included video not sure if I can put the link on here but I will try.

    • SEO IT! profile image

      Karla Whitmore 7 years ago from Tucson, AZ

      I cannot believe this is the first time I've heard about it. :( My favorite part of growing up and living in Michigan was the water and wildlife. I don't know... but perhaps all these oil spills and such are a BIG sign that we need to stop depending on oil! I can't believe they are working all that hard on alternative energies. I am sure some breakthroughs get suppressed by "Big Oil". :(

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for your comment Joni. I visited the river yesterday, for the first time since the spill. It was very sad indeed. Something people will not forget anytime soon.

    • Joni Douglas profile image

      Joni Douglas 7 years ago

      It really is a tragedy here in Michigan. Although not in comparison to the Gulf, this oil spill is going to affect Michigan waters for many many years. Thanks for sharing this.